Wednesday is a big day for Snap, Inc. makers of Snapchat (and those Spectacles). The company will hold its first-ever quarterly earnings call as a public company. And of course, there is no better way for Snapchat to celebrate such an achievement than to debut a set of new features for the social media app that continues to transmute into something stranger and weirder every month.
Most notably, the features pit Snapchat more rigorously against its biggest rival, Facebook-owned Instagram. As both apps have grown, the core features that drew users to each one (ephemeral media for Snapchat, ability to generate more artful works on Instagram) have been passed back and forth. These days, it’s a strange thing to choose one or the other — since many features are now found in both.
Here’s a quick gander at the newest Snapchat features, ranked in order of least brilliant to most brilliant.
4. Magic Eraser
Someone at Snapchat saw the doodle tool, and the scissor tool, and decided to keep running with the school supplies theme the app seems to be running with. So voila — we have ourselves a Magic Eraser tool, which basically replaces space on a message with background. It’s extremely buggy so far, but it has potential if Snapchat can make things look a lot less glitchy.
3. Limitless Snaps
Remember when Snapchat photos or videos could only last 10 seconds before disappearing forever? Yeah, that’s over. Now you can turn your snaps into pieces viewable for as long as the user wants — although they still self-destruct after you close the message. It perhaps ruins the single biggest allure behind Snapchat, but let’s be real: that was basically over as soon as the stories feature was first rolled out.
2. Drawing With Emojis
You’re sure as hell not going to be able to do this on Instagram. The doodle tool now allows adds a virtual pen to draw words or objects out of a select number of emojis. Hopefully the company starts to allow you to use more — I’m personally too big of a fan of the mustached disco dancer to never be able to use it — but there’s still a ton of fun to be had here.
1. Looping Videos
The app now allows you to create a competing version of Instagram’s Boomerang videos — short video snippets that repeat over and over. These also go on for eternity until the user closes the message. Unlike Boomerang, however, these videos don’t go back and forth — they just repeat on a single, forward loop. Given the fact that snap videos tend to be more wacky and silly than their Instagram counterparts, this has the potential to become wildly fun. We might finally have a replacement for Vine.